In the early 1900s, jazz was created in New Orleans. Soon afterwards the fear began…it’s moving away, it’s going to die out, it needs to be preserved. Yet each generation has put time and energy into making sure the roots of the music stay strong in the city. The book, published by The University of New Orleans Press, together with The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, the Neighborhood Story Project (a Surdna grantee), and the Louisiana State Museum, is about the history of that kind of organizing work, and what happened when the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park brought together a new group of young people to learn traditional brass band music from older musicians and the Black Men of Labor Social Aid & Pleasure Club.
Published By: Neighborhood Story Project
Download Related Document(s): Talk that Music Talk: Passing on Brass Band Music in New Orleans The Traditional Way
The poverty-level wages earned by the home care workforce in the U.S. degrades care quality for millions of elders and people with disabilities, a Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute report argues.
Paying the Price: How Poverty Wages Undermine Home Care in America reports that the average hourly wage for a home care worker in 2013 was just $9.61.
Given that only 40 percent of home care workers are employed full-time, year-round, the average yearly wage earned by home care workers is approximately $13,000.
Roxanne Trigg, who has worked at a for-profit home care company in Milwaukee for five years, says that she earns just $9.15/hour with no sick leave or vacation.
Trigg, one of the many home care workers quoted in Paying the Price, adds that she recently "had to risk getting the lights turned off...so I could buy shoes and clothes for the two grandkids I take care of."
Wages are so low, the report says, in part because home care work is "rooted in the history of exploitation of labor based on race and gender, particularly the devaluation of women's labor in the household," the report states.
Nearly 90 percent of home care workers are women, and more than half are people of color.
Poor wages and nonexistent benefits are tied to high turnover rates within the home care workforce, Paying the Price reports. Roughly one out of every two home care workers leaves her job every year.
High turnover correlates with poorer care outcomes for elders and people with disabilities, who come to rely on home care workers to ensure their quality of life.
"When people can't find the care they need for the family members they love, it is a genuine family crisis," the report says. "The outsized growth in our population of elders is going to make this problem far worse in the decades to come."
The report notes that demand for home care jobs is expected to grow by approximately 50 percent between the years 2012 and 2022, a rate five times higher than overall job growth during that span.
Published By: Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute
Download Related Document(s): Paying the Price: How Poverty Wages Undermine Home Care in America
The Environmental Law and Policy Center and BlueGreen Alliance have published "Passenger Rail & Transit Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.," which examines the impact and opportunities the passenger rail and transit industry presents to the national economy.
Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, said at the Washington, D.C., release that there are a variety of opportunities for Congress to invest in long-term passenger rail and transit infrastructure.
The report found more than 750 companies in 39 states that manufacture components for passenger rail and transit rail. It homed in on a set of Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states and found 540 companies making subcomponents of materials, track and infrastructure products, as well as providing repairs for the industry.
Investing in passenger rail and transit infrastructure could further boost manufacturing in those states and expand production to others, the report found.
The report's authors said short-term funding bills hamper hiring and fail to give investors and companies confidence to expand plants. Both Glas and Learner said a long-term infrastructure investment would provide these companies with certainty for the future.
Published By: Environmental Law & Policy Center and BlueGreen Alliance
Download Related Document(s): Passenger Rail & Transit Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.
By 2035, 11.5 million Americans will be over the age of eighty-five—more than double today’s 5 million—and living longer than ever before. To enable all of us to age with dignity and security in the face of this coming Age Wave, our society must learn to value the care of our elders. The process of building a culture that supports care is a key component to restoring the American dream, and, as Surdna Foundation grantee Ai-jen Poo convincingly argues in The Age of Dignity, will generate millions of new jobs and breathe new life into our national ideals of independence, justice, and dignity.
This groundbreaking new book from the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance offers bold solutions, such as long-term care insurance and cultural change to get all of us to value care, which are already at the heart of a movement transforming what it means to grow old in the United States. At the intersection of our aging population, the fraying safety net, and opportunities for women and immigrants in the workforce, The Age of Dignity maps out an integrated set of solutions to address America’s new demographic and economic realities.
The book is available at your local bookshop as well as via online booksellers.
Developing a local procurement strategy for a city’s anchor institutions is an excellent way to knit together revitalization efforts between anchor institutions and small businesses and the organizations that support them. Directing procurement dollars to local businesses builds vital relationships, spurs firm growth and creates local jobs. ICIC just released a new report, Creating an Anchored Local Economy in Newark: Recommendations for Implementing a Comprehensive Local Procurement Strategy, that highlights findings from a comprehensive study of procurement in Newark, NJ supported by the Prudential Foundation. The study analyzed the size and nature of local procurement opportunities in Newark, one of the United States’ older industrial cities.
Published By: Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
The San Francisco Fed’s Community Development Investment Review looks at what creative placemaking does and how it does it. The journal is fortunate to have perspectives from 16 organizations on the frontlines of this work, the funders and financiers supporting them, and the researchers and evaluators who are interpreting progress. Guest Editor Laura Callanan hears what this means to the broader community development field, from economists focused on communities becoming and remaining competitive, and from the mayor of San Francisco, who leads a city at the epicenter of creativity and innovation. If successful, says Callanan, this journal will reach a new audience of lenders and investors, civic leaders, and community organizations who haven’t yet heard of “creative placemaking” but will understand its potential to help their work.
Published By: The San Francisco Federal Reserve
Download Related Document(s): Community Development Investment Review. Creative Placemaking. Volume 10, Issue 2, 2014
Worker cooperatives are a powerful tool for economic and community development. This resource describes their role in creating a more just economy. It provides an overview of the benefits of the cooperative form, with examples of existing cooperatives and quotes from worker-owners. The resource also describes current initiatives to develop cooperatives by nonprofits, as well as government initiatives to spur the growth of the sector.
Published By: Democracy at Work Institute
Download Related Document(s): Creating Better Jobs and a Fairer Economy with Worker Cooperatives.
As the community foundation field reaches the century mark and faces growing pressure on its business model, many communities at the same time are struggling with economic distress. To meet these converging challenges, an innovative group of community foundations are beginning to deepen and shift how they work—adopting an anchor mission that seeks to fully deploy all resources to build community wealth. They are calling on all assets at their disposal—financial, human, intellectual, and political—in service of their communities’ economic well-being. Moving into territory relatively uncharted for community foundations, they are taking up impact investing and economic development—some in advanced ways, others with small steps. This report offers an overview of how 30 representative community foundations, large and small, urban and rural, are working toward adopting this new anchor mission.
Published By: Democracy Collaborative
Download Related Document(s): A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth
Though microbusinesses contribute significantly to nationwide economic activity and their owners’ household balance sheets, many still struggle to make ends meet or build long-term wealth. Today, little is known about how the typical microbusiness manages its finances, the major financial challenges they face or which components of financial capability lead them to business success.
This study examined the key financial product, service and capability needs of low- and moderate-income microbusiness owners and shed light on the extent to which they are being met by current market offerings. The study is based on a set of surveys that document business owners’ greatest financial challenges, the types of financial products and services they use and the aspects of financial management with which they struggle. In total, 716 microbusiness owners from 43 states completed the online survey and 214 respondents participated in the phone survey. The findings reveal that microbusiness owners’ business and personal finances are often inextricably tied, and that they are dealing with significant financial vulnerabilities that reach far beyond access to credit. Among the main findings:
• Cash flow problems—lacking sufficient liquidity to cover business expenses at the time they arise—are key drivers of financial insecurity for both microbusiness owners and their households.
• Remarkably low short- and long-term savings levels compound these challenges even further, preventing microbusiness owners from mitigating income-expense mismatches, weathering emergencies or meeting long-term goals that contribute to greater financial stability.
• Difficulty accessing appropriate financial products and services, especially credit, also compounds microbusiness owners’ financial security: those that are vulnerable for other reasons—young startups, less formal businesses, those generating lower household incomes for their owners, those with fewer employees and minority-owned businesses—are more likely to experience difficulty accessing financial products that suit their needs.
The study’s findings help tell a more nuanced story about what constitutes financial capability and offer new insights into the types of solutions that might resolve microbusinesses’ greatest financial challenges.
Published By: Corporation for Enterprise Development
Download Related Document(s): In Search of Solid Ground
"Moving the Race Conversation Forward" is a report by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, a Surdna Foundation grantee that aims to reshape and reform the way we talk about race and racism in our country.
Part One includes:
Content analysis of mainstream media: Two-thirds of race-focused media coverage fails to consider how systemic racism factors into the story, instead typically focusing upon racial slurs and other types of personal prejudice and individual-level racism.
Seven harmful racial discourse practices, which reinforce the common misconception that racism is simply a problem of rare, isolated, individual attitudes and actions: Individualizing Racism, Falsely Equating Incomparable Acts, Diverting From Race, Portraying Government as Overreaching, Prioritizing (Policy) Intent over Impact, Condemning Through Coded Language, and Silencing History.
Part Two includes:
Case studies and profiles of recent interventions and initiatives advanced by the racial justice field to challenge mainstream discussions of race and racism, and the negative policy impacts that dominant frames and narratives have on people of color. They include: Drop the I-Word, Migration is Beautiful, ALEC on the Run, Fruitvale Station, and Ending the Schoolhouse-to-Jailhouse Track.
A video, produced by Jay Smooth, breaks down the report in engaging, accessible ways. Smooth is the founder of New York's longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI's Underground Railroad, and Race Forward Video & Multimedia Producer.
Published By: Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation
Download Related Document(s): Part 1, Part 2
Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.